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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 102161
Experience:  Private practice in several areas, including immigration
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My card is over 5 years, i want to apply for my citizenship,

Customer Question

my green card is over 5 years, i want to apply for my citizenship, but i have stayed abroad for 7 months, can i still apply for my citizenship?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
how long do i need to stay in US before applying for my citizenship after 7 months of away from US.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Ely replied 3 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Assuming you are not filing based on marriage, the requirements are that:

1) you had to be in the U.S. for a total of 30 months out of the five-year period before the date of your application; 2) you need to have resided continuously in the state where you are filing from (I assume NY) for three months prior to filing, and

3) If you go on a trip, a trip of more than 6 months but less than one year is presumed to break your continuous residence.

Now, you say you have been abroad for 7 months. The presumption is that continuous residence has been broken. To overcome this presumption, you would have to show that even while abroad, you maintained strong links with U.S. This can be shown subjectively as:

-You did not terminate your employment in the U.S. or obtain employment while abroad

-Your immediate family remained in the U.S.

-You maintained a bank account in the U.S.

-You maintained a and/or continued to do business in U.S. while abroad

-You kept a U.S. address.

-and so on.

If this presumption is overcome, then USCIS will allow you to continue your N-400 (citizenship) application. Unfortunately, there is no way to know whether or not the presumption will be overcome until after you file.

Should you choose not to challenge the presumption, or, the presumption is not overcome and your N-400 is denied, then you would have to wait four years and one day after returning to the United States to resume permanent residence. See 8 CFR §316.5(c)(1)(ii).

Regardless, note that you still have to wait to live in NY (or wherever your residence is) for three months (again) prior to filing.

Good luck.

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Expert:  Ely replied 3 months ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!

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